Irit Garty & Isaac Layish







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Sleepwalking to the office
(Nov 2004)

Monday to Friday
(Jan 2005)

City Breaks
(Mar 2005)




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Sleepwalking to the office
Irit Garty & Isaac Layish


Paradoxically, in order to be able to relate to any new urban environment on a level more complex than that of tourism, while aspiring to investigate the rhythm and running float of the city, you may have to actively manufacture a daily routine of the most mundane kind. It’s almost as if being on holiday, you still end up sleepwalking to the office.

Changing locations and being “on the move” for the last 5 years, we have always tried to create a “fictitious” routine – one that enables us to feel and act as locals. You start out checking your e-mail at the neighborhood library and buying the newspaper everyday at the same corner shop. Later on in the experience of a city, you find yourself taking the same daily route for a more obvious reason such as going to work, and this is, at times, what it takes for one to feel a sense of belonging to the city. This sense can be simultaneously grounding and sickening.

These fictions can take the form of, for example, the “accidental” daily encounters with people you don’t know but see on the way to work every day, as they happen to take the same route as yours, at the same time as you. These individuals are your personal sunrise community – and it’s as if you share a little intimate secret with every one of them, never certain if the relative point that they have reached on your path means that they are late or perhaps you are. Or being cunning enough to stand at the exact spot on the train platform for the door to open just in front of you, knowing that this would be the emptiest carriage. Once you get to the point where you can make all these little calculations you feel that you are not a tourist anymore.
We see “City Breaks” as a challenge to narrate a fiction, bound to the polar notions of leisure and work, about the individual’s relationship, interaction and investigation of the idea of the city, Being it Helsinki – a location we have never been before, or London, a place we have been investing a lot of energy in establishing as “home” since we came to live here 3 years ago, but still at times feels like a foreign place for us.
The project will give us an opportunity to develop the existing elements in our practice of story telling, which deal with the fine line between historical and actual facts, rumors and personal interpretation of reality.
Our own personal circumstances dictate that one of us will go to Helsinki while the other will have to stay in London. We will use this limitation to create a set of similar rules and routines in different cities (these will be agreed by us in advance) - such as purchase of the daily newspaper/tabloid, walking the same distance every day and taking the same type of photo etc,

The visuals and collected materials will be used as the starting point for writing texts which will eventually create one work, made of two fictions narrating our simultaneous realities, running in parallel.